The private pilot reported that, during takeoff from the 2,500′ grass- and dirt-covered runway in Arbuckle, California, the Cessna 182 lifted off the runway normally.
He said he flew the airplane at a low altitude to gain airspeed before he pitched it upward to initiate a climb.
According to the pilot, the airplane initially climbed before it started to settle toward the runway.
He attempted to gain airspeed and began a second rotation to climb, but realized the plane would be unable to clear the trees at the end of the runway.
He aborted the takeoff and landed on the remaining length of the runway. However, the landing flare was late, which caused the plane to porpoise, resulting in ineffective braking.
The plane overran the departure end of the runway and hit trees before coming to rest upright in an orchard.
Both wings sustained structural damage.
Post-accident examination of the airplane revealed no evidence of a preexisting mechanical malfunction that would have precluded normal operation.
According to the reported weights of the pilot and passenger, the reported fuel load, and the airplane’s empty weight, the airplane was within its weight and balance limitations.
On the basis of the airplane’s performance charts, the airplane would have required about 1,366′ to clear obstacles and should have been able to successfully depart from the private grass/dirt runway.
However, when the airplane did not begin to climb after the initial liftoff, the pilot should have rejected the takeoff rather than attempt to climb a second time. The pilot’s delayed decision to abort the takeoff resulted in an improper flare, a bounced landing, and a subsequent runway overrun.
Probable cause: The pilot’s delayed decision to abort the takeoff and his failure to properly conduct a rejected takeoff, which resulted in a runway overrun.
NTSB Identification: WPR17LA160
This July 2017 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.